Thursday, 21 June 2012

City Heritage Walk: Hauz Khas (Delhi)


Hauz Khas, DelhiThe city of Delhi is not one city; it’s an amalgamation of 8 cities which were established throughout the ages, between 1100 A.D. and 1947 A.D. As a result, it boasts of a rich architectural heritage, which has been conserved beautifully. We have a number of parks, monuments and forts within the city which tell the tale of Delhi’s interesting history and journey as a city through time.
History of Hauz KhasHauz KhasOne of the best examples of the architectural heritage is the Hauz Khas.  The Hauz Khas Complex houses a water tank, an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village with medieval history traced to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign.
Hauz KhasOne lovely Sunday evening, me and a colleague decided to join a group of people on Heritage walk through this historical complex.  The guide leading the walk was a pretty post graduate history student, who has been conducting such heritage walks in various parts of Delhi for some time now. Our group consisted of an eclectic mix of people, some foreign tourists and expatriates, some natives of Delhi on a discovery trip of the city (like the two of us) and some photography enthusiasts.
Heritage Walk - GroupThe guide’s narration was quite engaging, starting with the history and concept behind the construction of Hauz Khas, the technicalities of construction, architecture of individual buildings and the artwork found on the various structures. She also told us a bit about the person who was responsible for the idea behind Hauz Khaz; the ruler of the time Feroz shah Tughlaq. Firuz Shah Tughlaq was the Sultan of Delhi from 1351 to 1388 and in the 1350s, he established the city of Firozabad at the site of the Feroz Shah Kotla (Literally fortress or citadel of Firoz Shah).
Hauz KhasHauz KhasThe guide’s narration coupled with the heritage structures all around made us feel lost in time. We clicked a lot of pictures and listened with interest to the wonderful history behind this monument. The walk lasted for about  1 & ½ hours and it was an enjoyable Sunday evening that we spent in Hauz Khas learning a bit more about our beloved city.
The Other Home is planning to cover various heritage walks around India and launch photo tours of key heritage walks in different cities in India.
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